Friday, 7 May 2010

Sustainable Flooring and Wall Materials

 Cork in various formats has been around for years as an unpretentious, if not unilatarian wall and floor covering. It comes from a harvestable, renewable resource: the bark of the evergreen cork oak, a tree native to the Mediterranean region. Portugal is the largest producer of cork today.
Cork trees shed their bark naturally every nine or ten years and can carry on producing cork for 200 years or more, which means cork can be harvested without damage to the tree. The cork used to make tiles, sheets and other formats for interior surfaces is actually the waste product of the cork harvested to make bottle stoppers - which makes it a recycled material as well as a harvestable one.
Cork has a cellular structure and is composed of 90% air-like gas, sealed within each microscopic cell by a waxy substance called suberin. As a result, the material is very light and cushioned, and springs back into shape after it has been depressed. Suberian also contributes to the materal's natural fire resistance.
Previously, cork granules were bound together with adhesives containing formaldehyde, which compromised its eco credentials. Now, though, many companies are producing cork using environmentally friendly water-based pigments, solvents and adhesives.

  • Derives from a harvestable, renewable source. Recycled product of the cork bottle-stopper industry
  • Warm and resiliant underfoot. Comfortable to walk on.
  • Excellent thermal and sound insulating qualities
  • Anti-bacterial, hypoallergenic, resists rot, mould and fire
  • Produced in tiles and sheets of various dimensions and thicknesses. Cork-faced floating is also available that snaps and locks into place
  • Some cork tiles have bedevilled edges, which allow for expansion and contraction
  • Mostly found in woody shades, but can be brightly coloured
  • Easy to work with. Damaged tiles can be lifted and replaced
  • Flooring, especially in areas where extra comfort is required underfoot. Not suitable for areas of heavy traffic. Generally applied with adhesive
  • Wall cladding

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1 comment:

Tracy Wilton said...

is that cork flooring in the picture with the round area rug? it almost looks like marble!!!